According to some estimates, every minute, $2.9 billion is lost to cybercrime. And with more than 2 million phishing sites detected by Google in January 2021, that number is not surprising.
Cyber attacks have become one of the biggest threats businesses have to deal with. Both SMBs and large enterprises have been forced to pay a hefty price because of cyberattacks, resulting in cyber regulations being put in place to prevent at least some of those attacks from occurring.
Businesses that want to stay ahead of the issue and minimize risks must understand what cyber regulations they must adhere to, why these laws are in place, and which cyber regulatory laws have the biggest impact today.
Let’s explore all of these questions below.
What Are Cyber Regulations?
Cyber regulations are various control measures enacted by governments that aim to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data collected and stored by businesses. These regulations typically focus on creating a safe environment for users who share personal data, but they also impact the security of companies, protecting them from cyber threats and creating a process for doing business online with fewer risks.
These types of laws can be enacted on a federal level, in individual states (such as with the CCPA), or even in another continent where U.S. companies often do business (GDPR in the EU).
Companies that want to avoid hefty fines and protect their business using industry-leading privacy and cybersecurity practices must take the necessary steps to implement the compliance requirements and regularly review them for changes.
Why Are Cyber Regulatory Laws in Place?
Cyber regulatory laws may seem like an inconvenience. When the CCPA was introduced, it meant that many businesses would have to change how they collect data, get consent from users, and provide pathways for users to get their personal information deleted.
But at the same time, these regulations, ranging from the FTC act, to the CISA act, and the more recent CCPA, have all been put into place not just for the users but also for the companies that serve them.
Data is one of the most valuable assets companies have today, and it’s also one of the biggest risks if they would fall into the wrong hands. That’s why cybersecurity laws don’t just deal with consent to data management but also outline “reasonable security” requirements that ensure certain standards across all businesses operating in the country.
If companies fail to adhere to these standards, they would be liable to penalties if plaintiffs could prove that the impacted business could not maintain reasonable security measures in how they handle user data.
Essential Cyber Regulatory Laws
Even though many laws govern cybersecurity, there are three that have had the biggest impact in recent years. They are:
- GDPR, which lays out the data privacy and security law in the European Union, setting a new standard for how organizations around the world must treat the data of EU citizens.
- CCPA is a more recent state-wide law passed in the state of California, which regulates how businesses must collect and manage data of California residents. In many ways, it’s the American version of the GDPR, which might eventually pave the way for a national privacy law.
- And COPPA, which deals with how websites, apps, and other online operators collect and manage data from children under the age of thirteen.
How to Adhere to Cybersecurity Regulations?
Cybersecurity regulations help protect your customers, business, and brand integrity. And there are practical steps you can take to ensure that you comply with the regulations in your state and nationwide.
- First, you need to identify what type of data you handle and how the regulations that are in place require you to protect it. For instance, if you collect data from California residents, you will need to implement the processes detailed by the CCPA. But even if you’re not, these practices can be a helpful way to get ahead of the federal laws currently in place and future-proof your business.
- If you want to ensure that your organization meets the security requirements to do business, it might be a good idea to appoint a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer). Having an expert who has the executive power to assess risk, develop cybersecurity strategies, and ensure compliance can go a long way in protecting your data assets.
- Even though assessing risks can be a time-consuming process, it’s the only way to ensure that you understand how cyber threats are evolving and how your business could be vulnerable. Therefore, it makes sense to implement regular vulnerability scans and risk assessments that can help better repel hackers from attempting to breach your data.
- Finally, as you discover more about your vulnerabilities and the ways that you could improve compliance, take a proactive approach in implementing policies that will enhance data security, prevent cybersecurity attacks, and create a better public image for your brand in the process.